Autopilot was engaged during deadly Tesla crash in March

08 June, 2018, 07:15 | Author: Brooke Harris
  • Tesla Model X sped up in Autopilot mode seconds before fatal crash, according to NTSB

The vehicle did not attempt to slow down or avoid the barrier before the crash. The system made two visual and one auditory alert for the driver to place his hands on the steering wheel, but those occurred more than 15 minutes prior to the crash, according to the report. The Tesla's driver was found belted in his seat and bystanders removed him from the vehicle before it was engulfed in flames.

A Tesla SUV using the company's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system accelerated just before crashing into a California freeway barrier, killing its driver, federal investigators have determined.

Aside from Autopilot, the NTSB report could actually prove useful regarding the response to the fire and the state of the crash attenuator. A second later, the auto began to steer left while still following the lead vehicle. The vehicle's emergency braking and evasive steering did not engage.

The preliminary NTSB report released today does not assign blame for the crash, and officials say it may take a year or longer to determine the probable cause. A spokeswoman referred to a company blog saying that a Tesla with Autopilot is far safer than vehicles without it.

The report noted that at four seconds before impact, Model X was no longer following a auto in front and began to speed up. Preliminary reports indicated the Model S she was traveling in may have sped up-similar to Huang's Model X-in the moments leading up to the crash.

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The probe into a March crash of a Tesla Model X in Mountain View that killed the vehicle's driver took another turn Thursday as federal investigators said the auto was speeding and the driver didn't have his hands on the car's steering wheel during the last seconds leading up to the collision. In a statement to ABC7 News, Wil Huang, the brother of the ill-fated Model X driver, noted that a working crash attenuator would have saved his brother's life.

In April, a Tesla Model S that struck a firetruck in Utah while in Autopilot mode may also have sped up before impact. Two other vehicles were damaged in the incident, with one driver suffering minor injuries.

A Tesla spokeswoman pointed to passages in the company's owners' manual warning that automatic emergency braking is created to reduce severity of a crash and isn't created to avoid a collision.

The safety board is now investigating four Tesla crashes since past year and looking at post-crash fire issues and the use of Autopilot.

The blog says Autopilot does not prevent all crashes but makes them less likely. The fire was extinguished in 10 minutes, but it reignited later that day in an impound lot.

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